A couple of nights ago we were doing the dishes, which is the time when Remco usually fills me in on any noteworthy news. I do not follow the news very actively and he does and as I often tell him it is his duty to inform me of anything that happens in the world that I should know about. His report is usually a mix of serious news items and some “fun” items he thinks I might enjoy. Having my news filtered like this, is part cowardice and part laziness and I do not know what this does for my perspective on how the world turns, but I am glad I can put this buffer between me and some of the horrors I would see on the news, yet feel completely incapable to do anything about.
Anyway: one of the things he told me was how the Lowlands music festival got hit by a downpour that day. I looked out the window at the still pouring rain and wondered why anyone would schedule a big outdoor festival so late in the year, only to realize that mid August is not exactly fall yet and the festival goers could just as well be getting dehydrated in a heat wave.
And wasn’t I defying the weather gods myself the same night by serving a cold soup? Because even though the weather is not in tune with the date on the calendar at the moment, the garden harvest is, and this soup is a mix of all things summer: vine-ripened tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers and chili…
This ingredient list may lead you to think the soup in question is gazpacho but the taste is different – robuster somehow – because the base is made with garlic, egg yolks and Dijon mustard.
It was very much appreciated by the whole family. After I made it and put it in the fridge, Esther came with a spoon and said: “where’s the soup? I wanted to taste it…one more time…for the fourth time”. And Remco later asked whether I still had all the ingredients for the soup because “if you do, I would not mind eating it again tomorrow”.
It may not be summer outside but who cares when we can put summer in our soup bowl?
Andalusian soup salad
From Sarah Raven: Fresh from the Garden
3 large vine ripened tomatoes
2 hard boiled eggs
2 tsp Dijon mustard
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
4 tbsp red wine vinegar
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 slice of stale, white bread, crust removed, torn up
½ large cucumber, deseeded and chopped into 1 cm (½ inch) chunks
1 red pepper, deseeded and chopped into 1 cm (½ inch) chunks
4 spring onions, thinly sliced
1 red chilli, deseeded and thinly sliced
1 liter tomato juice
salt and black pepper
basil, to serve (optional)
Start by peeling the tomatoes: score a cross on each fruit, put in a bowl and pour boiling water over the tomatoes. Let stand for about 2 minutes, then drain in a colander. Let cool slightly and peel off the skin. Chop the tomatoes coarsely and throw away the hard woody cores.
Peel the eggs and separate the yolks from the whites. Coarsely chop the egg whites and set aside.
In the bottom of a large bowl, mash together the egg yolks, mustard, olive oil, vinegar, garlic and bread to make a paste. Thin out with the tomato juice and add all the vegetables. Just before putting the salad in the fridge, add the chopped egg whites.
Allow to chill for at least an hour before serving. Ladle in bowls and a few basil leaves, if you wish, or a swirl of good olive oil.